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10/15/2014 - Supreme Court Ruling Keeps Texas Abortion Clinics Open
The US Supreme Court issued an order last night blocking enforcement of two provisions of a restrictive Texas anti-abortion law that had forced all but eight of the state's abortion clinics to close....

10/15/2014 - Enforcement of Voter Suppression Law in Texas Uncertain
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled yesterday that Texas could enforce its strict Voter ID law, despite a lower court's finding that the law was discriminatory and would likely suppress the votes of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas. Writing for the Court, Judge Edith Brown Clement described the immediate challenge to the Texas law as "not a run-of-the-mill case." She continued, "Instead, it is a voting case decided on the eve of the election....

10/14/2014 - Activist Dolores Huerta Fights for Reproductive Rights in Colorado
Legendary human rights leader Dolores Huerta will be in Denver, Colorado next Friday to Get Out the Vote for the 2014 election. Huerta, a Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, will be on the educational facility the Auraria Campus to take a stand against proposed Amendment 67, a personhood initiative on the Colorado ballot this Fall aimed at restricting abortion and birth control access. If passed, Amendment 67 would extend the definition of "person" and "child" to a fertilized egg in the Colorado criminal code and Wrongful Death Act....

10/14/2014 - Early Voting Has Started in Many States
In many states, the 2014 elections have already begun through early and absentee voting....

10/14/2014 - Girls Spoke Out at the United Nations on International Day of the Girl
The United Nation's third annual International Day of the Girl was recognized Saturday by activists and leaders alike....

10/13/2014 - As Midterm Elections Near, Courts Are Taking On Voter Suppression
With less than a month before the November 4 elections, courts are weighing in on voting rights across the nation. In a victory for voters in Wisconsin, the US Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the state's new voter identification law from taking effect in November....

10/13/2014 - Full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Refuses to Hear Challenge to Texas TRAP Law
The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to rehear a March panel decision upholding HB 2, the Texas TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law that has forced 80 percent of abortion clinics in the state to close. Only 3 of 15 judges - all Democratic-appointees - supported the application to rehear the case against two provisions of HB 2....

10/10/2014 - Study Finds Abortion Restrictions Adversely Impact Women's Health Outcomes
States with the greatest restrictions on abortion are the worst for women's overall health, according to a new study from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Ibis Reproductive Health. More than 250 bills restricting abortion were introduced in 40 states in 2014 alone, and in the period between 2011 and 2013, states signed 205 new abortion restriction provisions into law - "more laws than were enacted in the entire previous decade," the report states....

10/10/2014 - Catholic Church Files Civil Rights Complaint Against State Over Abortion Mandate
California's Catholic leaders have filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services over a recent decision by the state to mandate that religiously affiliated universities there offer full abortion coverage in their employees' health care plans. Earlier this year, the California Lawyer learned that despite the state's commitment to fully protect comprehensive reproductive rights, two Catholic universities - Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara - had discontinued coverage for "not medically necessary" abortion services for their employees....

10/9/2014 - Staff at Immigration Center Accused of Sexually Abusing Women Detainees
Several civil rights organizations have filed a complaint against a privately run detention center in Texas, citing widespread allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. Last week, attorneys from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Immigration Rights and Civil Rights Clinics at the University of Texas Law School, Human Rights First, and the Law Office of Javier N....

10/9/2014 - UPDATE: Supreme Court Justice Delays Marriage Equality in Idaho
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy halted a decision Wednesday that would have allowed same sex couples to marry in Idaho. The Justice issued a one-page order requiring the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to delay a Tuesday ruling striking down Idaho's same-sex marriage ban and calling them unconstitutional until either Kennedy or the full Supreme Court weighed in....

10/8/2014 - Marriage Equality Set to Take Hold in 35 States Following Court Rulings
Following the US Supreme Court's decision Monday to decline review of three federal appeals courts' decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans in five states, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday struck down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada, bringing the number of states in which same-sex marriage bans are effectively null and void to 35. Monday's decision by the Supreme Court immediately expanded the number of states were same-sex marriage is legal from 19 to 24....

10/8/2014 - Georgetown University Administrators Apologize for Shutting Down H*yas for Choice Protest
Georgetown University has formally apologized to students and alumni following a university police response to an off-campus H*yas for Choice protest last week that sparked outrage. On September 22, the Georgetown Department of Public Safety (DPS) forced the H*yas for Choice to relocate from an off-campus sidewalk, where they were "quietly presenting an alternative view" to the school's decision to grant an honorary degree to Washington, DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl....

10/7/2014 - Texas Providers Ask Supreme Court to Block Restrictive Abortion Law
Reproductive health care providers in Texas have asked the US Supreme Court to block enforcement of unnecessary, harmful abortion restrictions in Texas that have closed all but eight of the state's abortion clinics overnight. The Center for Reproductive Rights, on behalf of the health care providers, filed an emergency application with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia after Thursday's decision by the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to allow the immediate enforcement of two provisions - the ambulatory surgical center and admitting privileges requirements - of the Texas omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2. Before the enactment of HB2, Texas had 44 abortion clinics....

10/6/2014 - Religious Leaders Unite in Tennessee and Colorado to Oppose Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures
Local religious leaders have come together to denounce ballot measures in Tennessee and Colorado that, if passed, would jeopardize access to abortion in those states. At Sunday services last week, local clergy from Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, United Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Free Will Baptist churches, as well as leaders of other faiths, spoke out against Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would allow the government to interfere with women's personal health decisions....

10/6/2014 - Experts Recommend IUDs and Contraceptive Implants for Sexually Active Teenagers
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggested sexually active teenagers use contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) over other forms of birth control. This is the first time the AAP has suggested pediatricians recommend long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs) such as IUDs and implants before recommending other, less-effective forms of birth control to sexually active teens....

10/3/2014 - Federal Appeals Court Blocks Access to Abortion in Texas
The state of Texas lost all but eight of its abortion clinics overnight after the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the state could begin enforcing unnecessary and harmful abortion restrictions passed as part of Texas's omnibus anti-abortion bill, HB 2, last year....

10/3/2014 - White House Releases Updated Title IX Guidance on Campus Sexual Assault
As part of the "It's On Us" campaign to end campus sexual assault by changing campus culture, the White House has released guidance to assist with enforcement of institutional Title IX policies. The documents released include a "Guide to Drafting a Sexual Assault Policy," "Definitions of Key Terms in Sexual Misconduct Policies," the "Role of Title IX Coordinator," and how to include "Interim and Supportive Measures for Victims." All education institutions in the United States that receive federal funding must adhere to Title IX policies....

10/3/2014 - Federal Appeals Court Blocks Access to Abortion in Texas
The state of Texas lost all but eight of its abortion clinics overnight after the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the state could begin enforcing unnecessary and harmful abortion restrictions passed as part of Texas's omnibus anti-abortion bill, HB 2, last year....

10/3/2014 - UN Speaks Out Against Islamic State Attacks on Women
The United Nations last week condemned the brutal killings of women by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also know as ISIS. In a recent attack, Sameera Salih Ali Al-Nuaimya, a well-known lawyer and women's rights activist, was publicly executed by a masked firing squad in Mosul....

10/2/2014 - Court Reinstates Same Day Voter Registration in North Carolina
A federal appeals court blocked North Carolina's effort to end same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting - methods disproportionately used by minority voters - overturning a decision by a lower court just last month. In a 2-1 decision issued yesterday, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that these provisions of H.B....

10/2/2014 - Virginia Health Commissioner Recommends Amending State TRAP Law
Virginia Commissioner of Health Dr....

10/1/2014 - Afghanistan and US Finalize Bilateral Security Agreement
In a nationally televised ceremony at the Presidential Palace just one day after President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai took office, Afghanistan signed a major security agreement with the United States....

9/30/2014 - Georgetown Alumni Call Out University for Not Allowing Reproductive Rights Protests
Over 200 Georgetown University alumni have sent a letter to university President John J....

9/30/2014 - US Supreme Court Shuts Down First Week of Early Voting in Ohio
Less than 24 hours before the start of Ohio's would-be voting period, the Supreme Court blocked efforts to restore a full seven days of early voting in the state, marking a win for the Republican-controlled legislature that enacted the new voting restrictions. The Supreme Court's order offered no opinion or explanation, but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer would have ruled differently....